India’s Faith and Indonesia’s Faith

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I watched Around the World in 80 Faiths: India and Nepal . Around the World in 80 Faiths is documentary series by BBC executed by the Church of England Vicar, Pete Own-Jones, who travels far and wide to many continents such as North and South America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia. I live in North America specifically in New York City, US (United States of America). So I wanted to watch an episode that I knew little about and will feel the most interested in, so I chose India. Coincidentally, India is also my name but that is not entirely why I chose to watch this particular country. The reason is that I had always come across Indian people who have migrated from there to the USA and when I asked what is India like, they always say that it is one of the most beautiful places to visit, its full of many types of beautiful people, culture, understanding, and peace, and their culture is ancient and like no other. So I can see for myself if any of the things I heard were true.

In the show Around the World in 80 Faiths, episode six: India and Nepal discussed ten faiths found in India: Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism: Muktinath, Hindu/Buddhist, Hinduism: The Durga Puja, Hindu Aghoris, The Bishnoi, Nath Fire Walkers, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Hindu Gorehabba ritual. What was most interesting to me was the Hindu and Buddhist’s child blessing. This blessing was performed by the goddess grandmother, who was also the midwife (a trained professional who can deliver babies), which we have as well in the USA. The child blessing was similar to a Christening, a child blessing ceremony or ritual found in the religion Christianity. Christianity and Catholicism is the religion (Catholicism is a specific type of Christianity) I was raised in. Christianity is the belief in one God through teachings and beliefs of Jesus Christ. However the Hindu/Buddhist’s child blessing in Kathmandu, Nepal did things much differently during the ceremony. First, the midwife massages the newborn while they’re fully naked with mustard oil, to welcome the new life to the world. The newborn baby is then provided with two names, a secret name that only God and the child’s soul knows, which is given to protect them from evil.

The next name is the name that his family and the world will know and call them by. During the ceremony, the midwife meditates, and pray over the child with a lit candle and rubs oil on the child’s forehead and the mother. The mother of the child then squeezes her breast milk on the small lit candle, as an offering to the Gods which is passed over the newborn during the ceremony. This is a very sacred ritual for good karma for their newborn. In Hinduism/Buddhism you have what is known as good and bad karma, meaning the good deeds you do and good spirit you have will lead to a life and afterlife of good and vice versa for bad.

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